Sunday, 12 October 2008

Payback by Margaret Atwood

There's a new book called Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth by Margaret Atwood and it sounds very topical and also right up my street. It's an essay and not fiction. You can listen to a review of it on Radio 4 here.
It hink I'm going to have to buy this very soon. Here's an extract from a review:
"Payback" is an intelligent, wide-ranging book that examines the
metaphor of debt and the role it takes in our lives. "Debt" is like
air - something we take for granted and never think about until things go wrong. This is not a book about debt management or high finance, but about debt as a very old, central motif in religion and literature and also in the structuring of human societies. She looks at the language of debt in the "Old Testament" - what was 'owed' to God, and why. She then turns to investigate debt as sin in medieval and Elizabethan literature, before it develops into a plot-driving concept in nineteenth and twentieth century novels. The debts to society and to nature are discussed in the final essay in this book as Atwood explores how debt as a metaphor affects our understanding of the environment and death. Topical, enlightening and probing, this is the work of one of the most gifted writers of our generation.